Liaw finds taste of Australia
OU can take the boy from the South Australian hills but you can’t take those hills far from Adam Liaw.
That’s why the former MasterChef winner is so excited to be co-hosting the new SBS food series Destination Flavour.
Not only is the 10-part show the first full series to which Liaw has put his name since winning season two of MasterChef, it’s enabled him to return to his home state and showcase its culinary delights.
‘‘I thought I knew the state pretty well after travelling around it for 25 years,’’ he says, ‘‘but there are some little pockets down on the Limestone Coast and around the Coorong country – it’s just beautiful’’.
But it’s not only South Australia’s hidden gems that are revealed in the show. Liaw and his co-hosts, Renee Lim (SBS’s Food Investigators and East West 101) and Lily Serna (SBS’s Letters and Numbers), head to all corners of the nation. Liaw says the crew visited many well-known foodie destinations in Australia, but also headed to some less publicised spots on the gastronomic trail.
‘‘It’d be a pretty boring show if we just hit the same things everyone already knew about. We are quite lucky that we’ve gone and done some things are off the beaten track,’’ Liaw, now based in Sydney, says.
The three hosts journey across Australia, capturing the tales and characters from the vast domain of food production and preparation.
They also visit restaurants and give tips and hints on where to track down some of the produce.
‘‘One thing that really surprised me, industry aside and culture aside, was just the number of truly passionate people that work so hard, with frankly very little return in many cases, just to produce the best-quality product,’’ Liaw says.
‘‘It’s a tough business but the increased awareness from the public on getting their hands on this really great produce is a very good thing for the industry.’’
A visit to a 70-year-old couple who live in Victoria’s Daylesford region and grow potatoes, doing everything by hand, was a memorable moment for Liaw – and, he adds, not only because they grew the best organic potatoes he’s ever tasted.
Just as SBS’s Peter Kuruvita and Maeve O’Meara do on their shows, each episode of Destination Flavour will feature a stepby-step recipe preparation of several dishes.
Liaw says that after his MasterChef book was released, various television opportunities came his way but he didn’t want to do a program until the right one came along.
‘‘The idea of this show and being able to take the time to respect and do justice to these grassroots operations was just fantastic,’’ he says.
Thursdays from August 16, 8.30pm, SBS One.